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Thread: Custom Built Bicycle

  1. #1
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    Default Custom Built Bicycle


    Hi!

    I'm thinking of ordering a custom built bicycle. I know I want something that can do touring and road rides of varying lengths. Also it has to take a trailer. I know the exact color I want. Beyond these things, I'm really fuzzy on the specifics. What components would you folks suggest for a modern custom bicycle? A steel frame with lugs sounds like a nice start to me...but what other components would be nice?

    My balance tends to be pretty bad; I wobble my bike a fair bit when starting out. I get panicky if someone rides 2-up with me because I fear I'll tip over and crash into the other person. No, I don't need training wheels, and yes, I move along okay once I get going. If I know I'm going to transit some narrow tunnel I usually dismount and walk the bike through, as silly as that looks. So a frame that can help give a sense of security is nice. Whatever security is.

    A while ago, someone recommended that I subscribe to Bicycle Quarterly. I'm sure to get the benefit of the Jan Heine's test rides and general knowledge of all things bicycle. Unfortunately he only seems interested in bicycles made by Japanese builders. A lot of BQ's content is focused on cycling in Japan, which doesn't help me here in Maryland.

    Thanks for any and all advice

    Bob

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    Unless you have very unusual dimensions or just want the luxury of a true custom frame, I'd say you can get more bang for the buck with a catalog frame from the builder of your choice.

    I would absolutely love a full custom experience, but there's no way I could justify the cost. I'd say spend your money on an off the shelf frame and having it fitted to you and equipped exactly to your specifications.

    Read Hozn's posts about his Walty. That is a third type option.

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  4. #3
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    Hi anomad,

    Thank you. I want a full custom bicycle.

    This thread is to get ideas about components for same.

    Bob

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    Quote Originally Posted by BobCochran View Post
    My balance tends to be pretty bad; I wobble my bike a fair bit when starting out.
    Regarding balance issues, it sounds like you have a narrow handlebar and you might benefit from a wider one, or perhaps a more upright position, or it could be age/joint pain.

  6. #5
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    hozn is offline I really need to log off the internet and go for a ride.
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    Do you want a custom bicycle or a custom frame?

    It sounds like you want to build up a bicycle.

    Normally, this topic has me just giddy with excitement, but this is way too open ended. If you just want build ideas the internet is full of custom bike projects. Check out http://spanner.org.uk for some interesting takes on Chinese ti frames.

    I certainly wasn't the one that suggested BQ, but I'm not sure why biking in Japan isn't relevant to MD ... Incidentally, I suspect the steel rando bikes that BQ celebrates are going to be some of the most comfortable, stable bikes out there.

    But if you are incorporate the riding around others, and there isnt a medical issue, maybe do more group rides to cure that?

    Honestly, I wouldn't build your own bike until you learn a lot more about bike components and what you want, unless you just want to experiment.

    Anyway, good luck with whatever you do.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BobCochran View Post
    Hi anomad,

    Thank you. I want a full custom bicycle.

    This thread is to get ideas about components for same.

    Bob


    If I were going for a full custom steel I would probably choose my Oregonian friends at Co-Motion. https://www.co-motion.com/
    There are dozens of top notch outfits to deal with out there. But that is where I would start. Like Hozn said, there are a brazillion variables when it comes to the parts you'll hang on the frame. He would probably choose a 1x11 with big hydraulic brakes and go fast parts. I would probably choose heavy duty parts for anomad + luggage capacity and a tiny gear range for crawling up hills. We'd both want something with geometry and tires to tackle anything (within reason) in the DC metro area comfortably.


  8. #7
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    Thanks for the suggestions made so far. I can be a bit more specific. Yes, probably a steel frame built for long distance rides. I want the frame built from scratch to my exact measurements. I've already decided on a builder and I'll contact the person soon. I am not interested in long trips to a shop since travel increases the total project cost.

    Handlebars: I've tried flat bars, with and without bar ends. My hands go numb constantly on rides. So flat bars seem to be a mistake, at least for me. I guess for a custom bicycle I'll try drop bars. I'm aware that the choice of drop bars or flat bars in turn influences frame geometry.

    Gears: some gear option that will let me go cross-country. A transcontinental ride is one of the things I want to do in the next few years, before retiring. I am not interested in going fast. I'm happy if I get there and I want to see things along the way. There's always that interesting thing I want to stop for and photograph.

    Wheels: front wheel must be outfitted with a Schmidt generator. Both wheels and freehub able to take a load and a cross country ride.

    I want to be able to use a range of tire sizes. Perhaps I can interchange between 650B and 700C with tires of different widths. I'm willing to do some experimentation. Perhaps switching between 650B and 700C tires on the same frame isn't possible.

    Brakes: hydraulic/disc.

    Long ago, I lost much of my sense of balance, but I still do okay. I was relating my balance problem because I thought there might be a frame material out there that helps lend a sense of stability. I can accept steel.

    I hope this is a little more specific. (Smile.)

    Bob


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